Concept: CiV's 2nd expansion - Thrive And Prosperity - 6. Cities and Units

Discussion in 'Civ5 - General Discussions' started by Deggial, Mar 25, 2013.

  1. Deggial

    Deggial Emperor

    Jul 27, 2007
    Although this ideas come way to late to have any impact on the upcoming expansion "Brave New World", I want to somehow complete my concept with this thoughts.
    As we learned so far that most upgrade paths will be fleshed out and even an axeman was spotted as barbarian unit, most of my ideas might be obsolete by all means. Nevertheless, they might contain some worthwhile proposals (especially regarding cities) and therefore I proudly present:

    6. Cities and Units

    6.1 Cities

    Too strong and not strong enough - critique of the current city concept:
    Right now cities in Civilization 5 are somehow paradox: They are too strong and too weak at the same time.
    On one hand, cities posses a powerful range attack. With this range attack, they dominate their surrounding and make it almost impossible to develop sophisticated open-field battles. Instead, battles concentrate mainly on cities and how to take them as fast as possible.
    At the same time, cities are very vulnerable: With enough range units, it is very easy to bring cities down to 0 health points quickly. Now, a single melee unit (for example a horseman, that lurked in safe distance) may take the city no matter what. While this tactic is somehow dangerous as long as the besieger has to stay in the city's 2-tile-perimeter, things get ridiculous easy with “range”-promoted archer-path-units and (especially!) artillery and bombers in the later eras.

    The new concept:
    - cities lose their general 2 tile range-attack. (The “passive” strength stays as it is now.)
    - instead, the attack-strength will be tied to defensive buildings:
    • unfortified: range 1 attack; 100% attack strength
    • Walls: range 2 attack; inner ring: 100%, outer ring: 40% attack strength
    • Castle: range 2 attack; inner ring: 100%, outer ring: 70% attack strength
    • Arsenal: range 2 attack; both rings 100%
    • Military Base: range 3 attack; third ring with 50% attack strength
    - If a unit is fortified in a city, this unit must be defeated to take the city.
    - The fortified unit can only be attacked when the city is down to 0 health.
    - The unit gains +25% strength bonus and “Cover 2”-promotion while fortified.
    - The “Siege”-promotion will help attackers to fight against fortified city-defenders.

    6.2 Units

    The following chart visualizes all changed upgrade paths and altered abilities. Unchanged abilities are not mentioned (e.g. all mounted and armored units still have their "Move after attack"-ability.)

    Spoiler :

    Picture: Green: increased unit stats (grey and in brackets: original values); red: decreased stats; yellow: new units

    6.2.1 The infantry-path

    Negligible iron-using units - critique of the current heavy infantry concept:
    In Civilization 5 (vanilla), having iron was a hit or miss. Without iron, you couldn't build siege units and you missed the high tier infantry units of two entire technologies. As “Plan B”, you had to limit yourself on the remarkable weaker units of the anti-mounted upgrade-path. While being an annoyance, this worked because the anti-mounted units finally did blend into the main infantry upgrade-path.
    The developers decided to change things in G&K: Anti-mounted units were strengthened (especially pikemen) and are now a worthwhile alternative for civilizations without iron. However, there are several drawbacks in this solution:
    Both paths don't blend any longer. This is especially negative for civilizations with spearman- and pikeman-replacements.
    Additionally, if you don't have iron, you are forced to invest in units that are part of an undesirable upgrade-path
    Pikemen are so strong and come so early, that iron units could be considered as almost skippable. From being obligatory, iron almost seems do be negligible in G&K.

    The new concept:
    - Two NEW units are introduced into the infantry-line: “axeman” and “halberdman”
    - They come with the same technologies as swordsman and longsworsman, but don't need iron.
    - They are stronger than anti-mounted units of the same era, but weaker than their “elite” counterparts.
    Players without iron now have a useful alternative to build without having to invest production or gold into an unwanted upgrade-path.
    - In addition of being stronger, swordsman and longswordsman gain a free promotion: “Siege”.
    As cities are harder to take in “Thrive & Prosperity”, infantry will play a key role in the final city raid. The hardly used “Siege”-promotion all of a sudden becomes a worthwhile and desirable choice!

    6.2.2 The mounted/armored-path

    Toothless horses - critique of the current cavalry concept:
    Yes, horse-units are fast! In my eyes, this is a very powerful ability and makes them a worthwhile unit type to build. But they come with severe direct and indirect downsides. Direct limitation: no defensive bonus in rough terrain (which is totally fine!). Indirect limitation: The AI loves to build counter-units, as they are such a strong alternative to the iron-dependend heavy infantry (see above).
    But the biggest let down (in my regards) is the under-representation of the devastating power cavalry was able to develop those days, when fighting at open terrain.

    The new concept:
    - All units in this path possess a NEW ability: “Momentum”: +33% strength when attacking after moving at least one tile.
    - New Unit: the "Light knight". Faster than the knight, no iron needed.
    - Knight needs two resources now: horses and iron (to make this resource more important again)
    - To compensate for the need of iron, knights gain a NEW (unique and free) promotion : “Pierce lines”: Whenever this heavy cavalry-unit has movement-points left after attacking (and not killing!) an enemy unit, it may chose any adjacent free hexagon to continue it's movement. This ability allows knights to break through enemy lines and cause havoc behind the front.
    (DISCLAIMER: I am not the original author of this interesting idea! Unfortunately, I can not remember in which thread I did read about this great proposal. I will happily credit the author, should he present himself!)

    REMARK: Poland's "Winged Hussar" will have a very similar ability. However, I think that "Pierce lines" is different enough to keep the proposal in this concept.

    6.2.3 The anti-mounted/armored-path

    Shilly-shally upgrade-path - critique of the current anti-cavalry/anti-armored concept:
    As mentioned above, anti-mounted-units seem to have a too high base-strength currently.
    Their upgrade-path is more than inconsistent: from slow, resource-free units to a fast (but horse-dependent) lancer back to the slow anti-tank gun which upgrades into the extremely fast helicopter gunship. Not very compelling!

    The new concept:
    - The base-strength of spearman, pikeman and lancers is lowered.
    - The percental bonus vs mounted is raised (spearman and lancer)
    - Spearman and pikeman gain a NEW (free) promotion: “Break attack”: Units will not be able to “move after the attack” when attacking this unit.
    - To smoothen the upgrad-path, a NEW unit replaces the anti-tank gun: the “Tank hunter”:
    • It will be placed in the “Combined arms”-technology
    • With 5 :c5moves: it will lie in the middle between lancer (4 :c5moves:) and gunship (6 :c5moves:).
    • It will need oil as strategic resource.
    • “Logistics” will be granted as free starting promotion.
    - The anti-tank gun will be shifted to the “Plastics”-technology (in the more “peaceful” branch).
    • There will be no ancestors for this unit!
    • It will be a range-1 unit with high base-strength but lower range strength.
    • However, the anti-tank gun will have access to melee-type promotions. (It is a defensive unit!)
    • It will still upgrade into helicopter gunship.

    6.2.4 The archer-path

    Who am I? - critique of the current archer-line concept:
    Generally spoken, I don't mind the current G&K solution. In fact, I love the idea of gattling gun and MG! Unfortunately, upgrading crossbows into gattling guns not only changes the underlying battle doctrine (from an open battlefield support unit to an unit who's task is to hold a certain terrain) but goes hand in hand with an painful loss in range.
    I think, the game has enough space for both unit types with a fully fleshed out upgrade path and a very characteristic role at the battle field.

    The new concept:
    - Three NEW units will replace the re-arranged units and complete the path: "Field artillery", "Mortar" and "Armored Artillery Battery"
    - All units in the archer-upgrade path posses a range-2 attack.
    - Archers, composite bowmen and crossbows lose access to the “Range”-promotion.
    - NEW promotion available as compensation: “Suppression fire”.
    Two possible effects are thinkable for this promotion:
    a) The target suffers -15% strength for this turn. (= the “easy”, straightforward solution. A little bit boring, though.)
    b) Targets lose 1 movement at their next turn. Does not stack. (= the “tactical interesting” solution I prefer). However, it is necessary that “Suppression fire” is a separate action (just like fighters can fly different missions). It is absolutely mandatory that “Suppression fire” ends the turn for this unit and can only be the unit's first action!
    - Mortar and Armored Artillery Battery have access to “Range”-promotion again. The later will have indirect fire as starting promotion.

    6.2.5 The gatling gun-path

    Critique? Non. Let's just expand the thing...
    Gatling gun and MG represent a new military doctrine: The ability to hold a certain terrain at all cost. Both units are predestined as city defenders. (See above!)

    The new concept:
    - A NEW unit completes the upgrade path: the "IFV"
    - All units in the gatling gun-path are limited to range 1.
    - There is no “Range”-promotion available.
    - All units in this path gain +33% vs gunpowder units. (Lower range strength for balance reasons)
    - Increased fortification bonus: 35% and 75% (instead of 25% and 50%).
    - If fortified, MG and IFV temporarily gain the “Cover”-promotion. (If this is too complicated, both units might gain cover as starting promotion)
    - All units will have access to melee-promotions instead of range promotions. (Again, because their main character is of defensive nature, not offensive.)

    6.2.6 Other Units The scout-path

    Just two proposals, not very fleshed out (as there are plenty of very good proposals out there already):
    1) Explorer, 3 :c5moves:, may enter other territory without open borders.
    2) Light combat unit with 4 :c5moves: and “retreat from combat”-ability (like inca slinger). Higher retreat-probability when fleeing into rough terrain. Paratroopers:

    - With this concept, it is very important to cut of the enemy's supply lines to prevent fresh relief forces for sieged cities (see above). Paratroopers are perfectly suited for this role and become useful and desirable units!
    - Gain access to “Survivalism”-Upgrades to allow them to survive behind the front lines. Marines:

    - Lose +2 sight when embarked
    - Gain +2 movement when embarked

    6.3 Upgrading parallel units

    Picture: The "Golden Button" will upgrade the unit into the elite-variant.

    The concept of "parallel" units is new to Civilization 5. There are four variants thinkable to manage the two upgrade possibilities:

    a) The straight forward variant:
    - Resourceless units upgrade into each other.
    - If you want first tier iron-units, build them anew!
    - End of story.
    b) The comfortable variant:
    - Whenever a non-iron-unit can be upgraded, two upgrade buttons are shown: one for the follow-up non-iron-unit and another (“golden” button) for the first tier iron-unit. (See picture)
    - The player may chose with only one simple click, which upgrade he wants.
    - A "downgrade" from iron-unit to non-iron-unit is not possible.
    c) The double-click variant:
    - Non-iron-units will automatically upgrade into the follow up non-iron-unit.
    - Now, if the next technology is not available jet, a “golden” button will allow upgrading into the iron-unit.
    - The player has to upgrade twice in two different turns.
    d) The automatic variant:
    - If iron is available, the program assumes that the player will desire the better (first tier) unit and upgrades into it.
    - If no iron is available when upgrading, the low tier unit will be chosen automatically. An upgrade into an iron-unit will only be possible at the next technology level.
    - The player is freed from additional buttons and double upgrades for the price of control.

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  2. DudewiththeFood

    DudewiththeFood King

    Mar 16, 2013
    Round the Corner
    Axemen - Macemen - Musketman
    Spearmen - Halberdier - Pikeman

    It helps shorten the gap between Lancers and 'Tank Hunters'
  3. Deggial

    Deggial Emperor

    Jul 27, 2007
    If I remember correct, halberds were more of an anti-infantry-weapon than used against mounted units. They are - more or less - axes on a long pole ;) and I like to think of them as an axeman follow up. (Of course, they where very versatile and way better against cavalry than axes if needed!)

    But I am not stuck to names and I agree that there could be a new unit to shorten the mentioned gap.
  4. DudewiththeFood

    DudewiththeFood King

    Mar 16, 2013
    Round the Corner
    Halberdiers were anti-infantry and anti-cav but it helps gameplay-wise. Also, they were defensive weapons while axes were offensive. I think that they should upgrade into something heavier and adding in macemen gives us a new unit! :)

    However, if it was put in like you've suggested I wouldn't complain. Maybe need to rename 'Light Knight' but that might be a personal issue. Maybe because it rhymes but defintiely a unit that fits the description.
  5. Snes

    Snes Warlord

    Apr 24, 2013
    Your remake of the unit trees is terrific. It fixes a lot of the oddities and awkwardness of the current unit trees and adds some good gameplay to the mix. I approve of that part at the least.

    Might want to update the chart to include the newly-introduced units, the Bazooka (a good end to your ranged line) and the XCOM Squad.

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